3 Common Mistakes To Avoid at DJ Gigs for both Beginners and Advance Artists

The absolutely worst time to have you vibe killed is during your own DJ set. These are situations both  beginner and experienced DJs can find themselves in. Below each example I’m going to touch on how this can effect BOTH seasoned vets and those still trying to hit that learning curve. Starting with one of the more obvious issues we note first.

1. Your Levels Are All Over The Place

If you haven’t been educated on the distortion followed by redlining your mixer, listen up now. If the sound on your mixer’s master output or even the channel in which you are mixing is hitting the red, the sound of your music is being compromised. We find this happens in few situations. The artist can’t hear their monitor and turn up their master output instead of their booth or maybe they simply do not know what is going on.

Solution: Find the loudest part of your track and see where the levels are on your mixer BEFORE you mix it in. This way you know that when at full volume your mix will not clip because you’ve change the level to match below 0.

2. Messy or lack of Eqing

 

This can go one of two ways. You’re not allowing for your tracks to breath or you are over EQing causing some uncomfortable sounds like harsh highs. Sometimes you’ve got both tracks match up perfectly and as you’re bringing in your next track the bass drops. Even though everything is in the same key you’re noticing your mix sounds muddy. In very active music like drum and bass and dubstep (the robots and dinosaurs fighting kind) the bass or multiple sounds can compete which is how you can end up with a unappealing sound. On the other side over eqing can also create some sharp even painful (for some of us) noise.

Solution:
This video is a simplified explanation on eqing.

3. Being under prepared

 

Whether you have a 5 hours gig at in a lounge where you’ve got to keep the atmosphere swanky or you’re at the club and have an opening slot for the headlining act. Being prepared is something most DJs aim for, but we don’t always think of the ‘what ifs’ and make assumptions about how the night may go down smoothly. In those situations when things go the wrong way, we are thrown off and suddenly our vibe is seriously killed. From technical issues with the software to a hardware cord snapping in two. Being prepared can start with the music, having the right vibe to ensure that if things to go awry there is a back up but it doesn’t end there.

Solution:
Make a list of things that could go wrong and then plan for it. From cords to ensure your programs are updated but also tested in advance. Double checking on the gear being supplied, even speaking with sound personal if your set ups are more extensive.

At the end of the day we’re human, we make mistakes and all the preparing in the world doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues from time to time. In our opinion and experience these are the common ones, so if you find this helpful please share with your DJ friends so we can all enjoy more smoothly run shows!

Awesome helpful articles:

Advertisements

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free Year

Setting goals is easy, creating your plan of action takes a bit of work and research. Then there is actually executing that plan and suddenly you may find yourself putting that off too. It’s the follow through that shows just how serious you are about what you are aiming for. Unfortunately like many it’s something thing that can take a bit of practice before it becomes habit. So we came up with 4 ways to have an excuse free 2016 that sets you on the road towards your dreams.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

1. Be Honest

Take responsibility for your actions. If you are cancelling plans with a friend, late on an assignment or simply didn’t finish what you set out to do, don’t put it on others. Being honest is the first part in not making excuses. It also allows you to take a look at what you are doing and how you can become more efficient. If time is the issue, you need to make adjustments in your schedule. Maybe you don’t have a schedule, and should start!

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

2. Gradually Adjust Your Habits

If you were to decide tomorrow, “I’m going to start at the gym, eat healthy and work harder,” when you typically watch hours of Netflix after work and your “work-out” is  dialing for take out… You may have trouble making such a HUGE change, so quickly. If you make and plan for more gradual changes, you’ll have a better chance at developing those good habits. If putting out one new track a month is a bit much, aim for every 3 months. If you typically work on your online presences once a month and feel it’s lacking, try once a week.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

3. Break It Down

Need to design a plan of action on what you’d like to accomplish?  If you haven’t already grabbed the free copy of the 2016 planner you can read and grabbed it here. (Of course once you’re done reading this article.) Break down those big goals into small tasks you can accomplish each day. We go into more detail in our article here. Suddenly those excuses about not being able to get “noticed” by that huge label, becomes a question of “What is my plan to get noticed?”

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

4. Follow Through

The best predictor of future behaviour is present behaviour. First off, don’t cancel plans and secondly, don’t make plans with people that cancel or reschedule more then twice. If YOU typically cancel plans, it could mean you are:

1. Not truly interested in the plans you are making.
2. Committing to too many things OR…
3. You are lazy.

Assuming it’s the first two, like in #2 – Gradually Adjust Your Habits, only making plans with or committing to things that are most important to you including reasonable time lines will help you to follow through 99% of the time.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

5. Surrounding Yourself With DOERS

If the people around you don’t have a strong work ethic it’s real easy to think you’re doing enough, when you could be doing more. When you have ambitious people around you, it does wonderful things to us. Motivates us to do more, be more and have more.

Exception vs. the rule:
Life happens. We get sick, life events out of our control happen and people unfortunately die. We can’t predict these things and in some cases, we must get those parts of our life in order before we are able to fully follow our passion. Understanding the different between things out of our control vs. excuses is important. But it also means taking responsibility for what we can control. Like taking care of our bodies, our mental health and our responsibilities.

Other articles you might dig:

Too Busy or Just Distracting Yourself?

It’s incredible to hear the stories people make up as to why they have “no time” for their passion. When often the reality is, they are scared. Scared of failure, feel a lack of knowledge and so they fill their time with mindless projects that aren’t actually “adding” to their life, so much as distracting them. An excuse not to push through their fears. If you are doing the following things, chances are YOU are the one holding yourself BACK from your potential.

Too busy or distracting yourself?

You Work On Things That Can Wait

You need to finish a mix for next Friday, but instead you are writing an article that isn’t due for 5 weeks. If the most important thing for you to make your career move forward is submitting that mix, then the article can wait until that task is complete. In your mind you might think, “Well this is a taste I need to get done.” But we often work on the tasks that can wait when we’ve got a deadline out of sub-conscious fear. Before you know it, the deadline is here and this happens…

YOU HAVE A POCKET FULL OF EXCUSES

Imagine the amount of times an internet radio show or the owner of a regular podcasts hears from a dj the day a set is due, ” Holy crap! My entire dj program has crapped the bed and I unfortunately lost the mix I’ve been working on for the last 3 weeks.”

.0007 % of the time this is true… most of the time it just is NOT! If you know you are not going to do something, own it. If you know you will put it off, don’t commit. Intention mean NOTHING. Action is everything.  If you have to actually recorded something first, then do that.

You Work On Things That You Hate

I dislike doing laundry. So much so, I used to clean the entire house before touching it. Cleaning isn’t fun for me either but the idea of having to fold laundry, organize everything and put it away seemed like more of a task then just cleaning the house. Learned to “eat your frog!” If the worse thing you have to do in your day is eat a frog, the rest of the day is easy. JUST DO IT FIRST!

The Solution – Ask yourself the hard questions

Working with artists and business owners one on one, I have to ask a lot of questions when issues arise. You can’t figure out a solution if you don’t understand what the REAL problem is. Almost always, the issue is fear. Fear of rejection, fear something wont work or wont be good enough. Then we get to play the “what if” game. A game where we don’t just say, “what if this thing happens…” but play it out to the end.

Q: What if I share this piece of music and people hate it?
A: Then I will ask for feedback.
Q: What if the feedback isn’t helpful.
A: Then I will ask for help.
Q: What if no one will help me?
A: Then I will read up online and watch tutorials.
Q: What if I am still awful even after all of that?
A: Then I will go to school for production and ask for help from the professionals.

The idea is to prepare yourself for the worst, accept it and then take the risk anyways. Often we find our fear is far worse then the reality but this way instead of fear of possibilities, we take risks for the opportunities.

On that note: here is a sneak peak of something I’ve been working on and news of our move of The Basement Sessions to MixLive.TV and you can watch it on your mobile anytime. Share your stories and music in the comments. When were you scared to share something but did it anyways? Maybe today will be that day.

Why Haters are actually your Motivators.

Why Haters Are Your Motivators

Why Haters Are Your Motivators

There are 5 steps I use that have changed the way I deal with haters, forever. As I share my story, experience and knowledge with you, I am confident that by the end of this article you will have a better understanding about the psychology of a “hater” and how you can turn their negative energy into motivation towards your career and happiness. This information is important for two major reasons. To help keep you on track, headed towards your goals and to really understand that their response is NOT about you. (References to sources throughout article including bullyingstatistics.org, The National Domestic Violence Hotline Site and Wikipedia. )

Definition of a Hater?

Wiki states: “Haters are identified as people who offer solely negative criticism to others, without justification. Haters deal in negative cognitive bias, prejudicially arriving at a conclusion first and then drawing in their reasons afterward, refusing to alter their conclusion with exposure to the opinions of others. Haters are frequently thought of as imposing their self-hate on others.”

Why they do it?

Simple. Think about people that are grumpy. What do they want? Some company. Sometimes they do this by sharing that negativity. Other times they do it to bring others down to their level by shaming them. Think about a happy, healthy person. Do they take joy in bringing down others? No. Generally, they want to lift people up.

What’s the big deal with haters anyways?

When you take a look at an abusive partner in a relationship you see a person that must be in control over their victim. Going to great lengthens of emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse, the goal is to make their victim feel worthless, while convincing them that they deserve the poor treatment they receive. (See source “abusive partner”) This is a pattern you see in bullying. It is say that these abusive relationships start off like sunshine and lollipops. But like a slow emotional poison they implement their stance on their victim. Sometimes the abused gets a clear enough head to see what’s really going on and gets away from the abuser. Unfortunately in the most several cases the abusers will continue to try and harass the original victim, stalking them after the relationship ends.

online harassment


Online Harassment VS. Abusive Relationships

Call it what you want to call it, it’s Cyber Stalking (See source) and it’s illegal. The trouble with both public and anonymous harassment, is that it’s like living with an addict or abuser. “Will this be a good day or a bad?” Never knowing when they may hit again can become emotionally exhausting and extremely stressful.

Understanding the psychology behind the hater’s motives: We’ve establish that their real goal is to feel in control and superior over you. They do this by trying to make you feel poorly about yourself with their words, pictures and even videos. It’s like an addiction to hurting people. They only get off and feel better if someone feels horrible about themselves or think they might.

Haters are your motivators

Think about that for a moment:
Could you imaging living like that? Never being able to be happy for another person, because you want what they have? You feel they are above you and want to bring them down to your level. Instead of accepting it and using it as motivation to do more in your life, you sought out people that have the things you want and troll them. You want them to feel pain, something you don’t want to cope with let alone admit that you are experiencing. 

It’s not about YOU:

If you’re suddenly feeling empathy for that jerk that just trashed you, you’re not alone. By now you’ve probably realized that your “hater” has some deeply seeded issues. With a grip on reality you’re able to appreciate your blessings. While people that struggle with their perception in life can have a great deal of trouble. I am talking about that kid/teen/adult that is hiding behind a computer and possibility bullying you too. He or she may be desperately trying and hold on to the one thing they feel they have control over. The thing distracting them from their failures and self-hate. It does not sound like a very rewarding life to me. How about you?

How do we fight the hate?

The natural reaction is to be hurt, upset, angry or even outraged. What we do with that energy, is where the power comes into play. We do not have control over the other people in our lives but we do have control in how we respond.

The 5 steps to keep you on track

How do I turn that HATE into some motivating power?

  • First, BE MAD! It’s a normal reaction and you don’t have to feel bad about it. Seriously get angry if you like, tell your partner, your Mom or your best mate (that you trust to keep to themselves) what kind of dick-hole this person is. Hell, draw a picture of this jerks house, pretend he is in it and then set it on fire. (Not for real, just the picture.) LOL.
  • Give yourself a time limit. Maybe it’s 10 minutes or half an hour to be as angry as you want. Of course do this without witnesses. You don’t need your work associate to call the police because you threatened to burn his house down while ranting to yourself in the bathroom mirror. Don’t give yourself more than an hour to do this and if you have to be angry the next day about it, only do it for an allotted amount of time too. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning before work or right after dinner.
  • Once that is done. (After the first time.) Do something good for yourself. Take a bath, buy some new music, go for a walk, play a game, go out for dinner or get yourself a yummy smoothie. It’s easy to get into a mindset of hurt and pain. It’s a natural response and I don’t want you to shut yourself down. The trouble is when you start believing you deserve that treatment (which can happen). We are human and some of us are just quick to put ourselves down. So do something nice for yourself to balance out those emotions.
  • If and when you find yourself in a place of pain (usually before the anger but can sneak up on you later in the process) instead of questioning yourself start asking, “Has this person recently lost a love one, their job, possibly going through a breakup and may be lashing out as a distraction?” Clearly you didn’t run over the person’s cat so there is no reason for the hostility. This puts you in a place to forgive them, which helps you to move on. And having empathy for their situation makes it a lot less about us if we are still struggling with that thought.
  • Lastly, do something GREAT. If you are like me than naturally when someone tells you that you are not good enough or that you can’t do something, you’re going to do it anyways. If you are not, dive yourself into a place of curiously. Be open to learn all that you can in your hobby, career or relationship because this is where you’re going to start setting life changing goals.

I made it a thing of mine that each time I received a negative response or “hate mail” I would use that as motivation to accomplish 3 small goals or 1 big one.

“But Kilma, I am still dealing with the ANGER!”
There is this fantastic journaling technique that works well for anger management. You start off completely unfiltered in your writing. Don’t worry it’s supposed to sound quite unreasonable. You re-write this “open letter” to whomever you are angry at a few times. Eventually the letter reads more clearly and you’ll notice yourself start to feel calmer about the situation. NOTE: You don’t actually ever send it. It’s just for you however…

refocus your energy

Refocus

Let’s refocus with Kilma. I took it one step further this year due to some interesting events. I turned my anger into thought provoking conversation about relevant issues with unorthodox views and solutions. I wrote one article about the “Paris Hilton DJs” of the world because I was sick and tired of hearing DJs complaining about artists that weren’t even their competition. It started to feel like maybe it was their excuse not to try any harder and wanted to find out more. After hearing the 100th accusation that girl DJs have it “easy” and the many ridiculous double standards I wrote all about “Sex Appeal” and Branding. I wanted to empower Women and educate the Men whiling putting those misconceptions to bed. The responses blew me away. I found a medium that worked for me and attracted other like minded people that in turn I ended up working with. These people inspire me and I feel like I’m creating this whole new family of people with the sort of drive I strive for. This article in particular was motivation by you guessed it… What I thought was 15 different people in a span of 4 years, was one guy. A local producer kid, with the world at his feet but his head in his ass. His hate quickly turned into an obsession, fake profiles, breaking into my online accounts and stories of accusation with details that would change each time the story was told. The fake profiles he’d made in a negative light inspired me to show my brand’s authenticity by recording video and writing content that would showcase just what the brand is about.

Here is the coolest thing, because I started writing about myself, my thoughts, opinions and advice debunked the fake profiles. For once people heard me for the person I always have been and not just the DJ mixes shared. I found a new passion. Writing. putting yourself out there Putting yourself out there can be scary and people are going to judge you. There is no doubt about that. But you have to let the rest go. The only way you can regain that power is to continue on in a positive and inspiring way. What I am saying is that, regardless of the people that go out of their way to try to make our lives as miserable as theirs, is that you can not only rise above but empower yourself with these “hidden” bits of motivation they freely supply you with.

Do you have a “hater” story? How did you turn it into a positive? Do you think your friends would find this article helpful?  Please share the love and definitely let us know what you think in the comments How to stop being a hater. Free gift for you, the lastest Soffiare mix by Kilma fans in denial

How I came to be a DJ.

Funny story time.

I went over to a mutual friend’s place and the guys were playing on a pair of technic turntables. I was pretty excited and asked if I could try. Their response, “It’s too technical for you.”
I was intrigued. Some might say a bit determined and I just had to try. The very next day I found a friend willing to let me try it out. Wouldn’t you know I was hook immediately!

Kilma Music

Who would have thought almost 10 years later I’d experience touring across North America, get to visit other countries, release music, sing, host multiple radio shows and even start my own business helping other DJs? So many blessings I was able to experience because of my curiosity and drive.

The message I want to leave everyone with it that, regardless of what people say if you really want to do something, you have the ability to make it happen. Heck, being told you can’t, might even push you to do it that much more.

Do you have a similar story? Make sure you let me know below.

What happened to DJ SW@T?

If you know me, you know I am into loads of different music. I was originally turned on to Drum and Bass music from the start. I liked the fast paced sounds, and how it was influenced by so many other genres. From that dub and reggae sound to a more ambient and soulful feel.

I was lucky enough to work with Viper Recording’s producer Inside Info. We released two tracks “Awkward” and “Bottled” and ended up filming my first music video for “Bottled.”

There were definitely situations that made me ask myself a lot of questions about the scene and how women were viewed in it. Something that probably sounds ridiculous to so many considering the rights we have in our country but it was something more and more women had brought to my attention over the years. Situations that came to light as I experience abuse and harassment. This was actually one of the reasons I was inspired to create the Drum and Bass Girls of Canada in 2009. I created with my sisters a roster of strong women across North America in Drum and Bass ready to strengthen our brands while working together in support and motivation.

I talked about the differences in a very important interview I did with Girls on Decks. It really forced me to reflect on everything I had been through and what I was feeling in the present. It was lovely to get it out there, as typically it wasn’t something I enjoyed talking about.

I dabbled into other electronic music genres like dubstep and electro but I found myself back into house and techno music each time.

Before fully switching over, I worked with local artists Tripwave on a tune, “Feel it” featuring my vocals. An elaborated music video came out of that production directed and produced by Cory Quinn. It’s was the craziest two days of filming, not sure where I got the energy from but by the end of it I was dead to the world. The end result, one amazing video.

Once realizing my new niche I quickly saw how SW@T was heavily  known in the drum and bass community and now dubstep community with “Whispers – Biome feat. SW@T” radio 1 play.  It occurred that my new interest in music was lost on many fans and people that had come to know the name SW@T. It was time to make that clean break and move on in a new light.

Around came Kilma. The name Kilma is from this old 70’s movie. It’s super weird like most of the movies from that era… like Barberella. None the less is reminded me of my jungle roots since she was an women of the amazon and was a part of a tribe of women that ran the island. It just bought me right back to the empowerment of women. Her tribe was all female and women ran the world.

As I started playing with the word I ended up with some fun tag lines, like “Don’t Kilma Vibe” and “Kilma Tempa.” It was somewhat fitting considering my old tag line was, “Don’t F#%$ with SW@T.” On the outside it sounded like some super angry person, but really it was always about taking care of business. Like any professional you’ve got to get things done.

I dropped everything, my old alias, the music and started from scratch again. As opportunity would have it, I was able to re-brand in the Jungle as Kilma. How fitting, eh? I was given the chance to play out in Costa Rica in February of 2014. I made great new friends, saw a part of the world I’d never been to and got to play one of the most beautiful Envision Festival. It was quite the intense experience and I will never forget what knowledge I took from that trip.

When I returned home I was buzzing with different ideas, I couldn’t wait to get started. I got back in touch with a friend,Chris Tweten aka Tweten Online. He is the social media genius of Winnipeg, working in the Ramp Up Manitoba space with like minded entrepreneurs. I knew that if I wanted to make a real impact this time around, I needed to be working with people that could offer what I could not. The idea of #BrandMeSilly came to me because I always had loads of people asking me questions about branding and promoting themselves. I wanted to take those bits of advice and turn it into real knowledge that when used properly people could monetize from. With the help of Tweten Online we were able to come up with workshop to help strengthen our local community.

Another project that I started up some months ago with the Re-Brand is “The Basement Sessions.” It’s a live stream radio show that happens each Saturday evening on UStream.TV. It’s loads of fun and I get to share this show with my friends both locally and across the globe. People tune in, watch, get in the chat room and we get to be interactive, silly and enjoy one another’s company.

I think my most favourite part of the re-brand is the fresh start. It’s a very different scene of people and environment. My goal was to work with people looking for a new, exciting, and different experience. With so many DJs to choose from now a days it’s easy to get lost in opinions. With me, they knew I was going to be different from the average DJ and cater to a different crowd.

To me, djing it like dating. If you meet someone new and try to be who you think they would be into instead of just being you, you’ll end up with someone that likes the phony you. If you dj music you don’t like, that will show too. I think in order to get your own crowd of people you have to stop worrying about catering to “the people” and start worrying about pleasing yourself. The people that dig your sounds will come around.